Delhi Police restricts powers of arrest

The Delhi Police has issued a standing order regarding arrest of any persons with regard to offences punishable by up to seven years in jail or less. The order was issued on Monday by the office of the Commissioner of Delhi Police.

Section amended

Section 41 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) authorises powers of arrest to police with or without a warrant from a magistrate. The section was modified in an amendment to minimise abuse of the power. Many police officers were unaware of the amendment.

The order reads that no arrest can be made just because it is lawful for the police officer to do so. “The existence of the power to arrest is one thing... The justification for the exercise of it is quite another. The police officer must be able to justify the arrest apart from his power to do so. Arrest and detention in police lock-up of a person can cause incalculable harm to the reputation and self-esteem of a person,” read the order copy.

“The police officer shall, in all cases where the arrest of a person is not required under the provisions of sub-section (1) of Section 41, issue a notice to the person against whom a reasonable complaint has been made, or credible information has been received, or a reasonable suspicion exists that he has committed a cognizable offence, to appear before him, or at such other place as may be specified in the notice,” it adds.

The order further reads that in case a person fails to comply with the notice, the officer may, subject to such orders as may have been passed by a competent court, arrest the person for the offence mentioned in the notice. The arrest has to be done in context of Section 41 of the CrPC.

“On failure to comply with the above directions laid down by the Supreme Court, the police officers concerned shall be liable for departmental action and shall be liable for punishment for contempt of court,” the order reads.

The apex court had issued the directions while hearing a case in 2014.

The directions shall not only apply to cases under IPC Section 498A or Section 4 of Dowry Prohibition, but also in cases where the offence is punishable with imprisonment of up to seven years, adds the order.

The last standing order regarding powers of arrest was issued in 2008.

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Printable version | Sep 27, 2020 11:24:59 PM |

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